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CMS Releases Final E-Prescribing Standards in Medicare
Date:4/2/2008

PCMA: E-Prescribing is 'Ready to Go'

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The issuing of final electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) standards in Medicare by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) further highlights the importance of requiring that doctors use the technology in Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.

"The time is now for e-prescribing in Medicare. Today will be remembered as a major step in the drive for health IT reform," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. "E-prescribing is ready to go."

CMS estimates that adoption of e-prescribing would reduce adverse drug events (ADEs); provide increased administrative savings to physicians and pharmacists; and enhance generic utilization. The e-prescribing standards in Medicare were developed and pilot-tested during a rigorous process with consensus from a variety of influential health care stakeholders. The final e-prescribing rule establishes standards for four types of information:

-- Formulary and benefits;

-- Medication history;

-- Fill status notification; and

-- Identification of health care providers.

In December, the bipartisan "Medicare Electronic Medication and Safety Protection (E-MEDS) Act of 2007" that would require e-prescribing in Medicare was introduced by Senate Finance Committee Members John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John Ensign, (R-Nev.). Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Representatives Allyson Schwartz, (D-Penn.) and Jon Porter, (R-Nev.). Both bills are supported by a broad coalition of consumers, unions, businesses, purchaser groups, and other prescription drug stakeholders.

Last year, as part of its campaign to require e-prescribing in Medicare, PCMA launched a TV ad featuring Institute of Medicine (IOM) expert panelist J. Lyle Bootman that called on policymakers to require e-prescribing in Medicare "before more people
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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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